Random piece of trivia: it took me until I was an adult before I would eat anything that remotely resembled or had anything to do with pretzels of any kind.
When I was a kid in Pre-School and Sunday School and they offered us the Rold Golds crunchy pretzels that came in the chip bags, I would never take them. I hated the taste so much that I would rather eat nothing at all and just sit at the table with my Dixie cup of water while the other kids chomped on those things that I thought tasted like salty sawdust and gave you bad breath.
Can someone answer a question for me that I have yet to figure out for myself?
WHY does anyone actually eat those soft Super Pretzels in the black box that you buy in the frozen food section of the grocery store?
In the first place, I have a thing about eating dough that’s already been baked then frozen. I just haven’t had any yet that had any real flavor to me.
In the second place: the Super Pretzels (that are apparently really popular among little kids) are absolutely dis-GUSTING. They taste like…I don’t know. Bland cardboard or they way you’d imagine salted packaging foam to taste if that were even a real thing.
I’ll be honest: my early dislike of pretzels and anything to do with them made me a really late bloomer on getting around to trying Auntie Anne’s.
C’mon, you didn’t ACTUALLY think I was gonna slander the deliciousness that is an Auntie Anne’s pretzel, did you?
After all, I do have taste buds. And they are working correctly. Auntie Anne’s pretzels-plain AND cinnamon sugar- are great. No contest there. (Their strawberry lemonade is pretty on point too.)
Sam’s Club butter pretzels are also pretty tasty too I’ve found. I’d love to get my hands on that recipe someday to try and recreate it at home.
But in the meantime-in-between-time, what I’ve got for you guys today will work juuuuuust fine.
I first saw these in a Food Network magazine article and thought that they looked delicious. I immediately clipped it out and put it in my binder to make for later. “Later” took a few months, but as it turns out, homemade soft pretzels are a classic food for Oktoberfest, so I just figured that this was a pretty good time to try this recipe out.
Making pretzels is actually a pretty interesting process. The dough gets mixed together in a traditional way, then after proofing and molding out the dough into pretzel shapes, you boil the pretzels in a salt and baking soda bath, THEN bake them in the oven
The results are pretty awesome. The rolls baked up nice, tall and golden brown. They were also the inspiration for the next post I’ve already gotten lined up for you guys.Cause there’s definitely more coming. Stay tuned.
And now, I also know how to make pretzels.
Totally a life skill everyone should know.
(Oh by the way, I actually like Rold Golds crunchy pretzels a lot now. Go figure.)
Recipe Courtesy of Food Network Magazine
- 1 cup milk
- 2 1/4 tsp. dry active yeast
- 1 tbsp. light brown sugar
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened to room temp.
- Cooking spray
- 1/2 cup Baking Soda
- 1/2 cup coarse sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
Warm the milk in a small saucepan until a thermometer registers 110 degrees F. Pour into a medium bowl; sprinkle with the yeast and let soften, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with the sugar and set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes.
Combine the flour and fine salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. With the mixer on low speed, add the yeast mixture and butter and mix until the dough is slightly smooth and soft but still sticky, about 2 minutes. Coat a large bowl with cooking spray; add the dough, cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Generously coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Stretch into a 16-inch-long log, about 2 inches wide; cut into 8 even pieces. Roll and stretch each piece into a 6-inch-long rope, then wind into a coil; tuck the end underneath. Transfer the rolls to the baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest at room temperature 15 minutes, then refrigerate until slightly puffed, about 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Fill a large pot or deep skillet with 3 inches of water. Add the baking soda and 1/4 cup coarse salt and bring to a boil. Add half of the rolls and cook until slightly puffed, about 1 minute, flipping halfway through with a slotted spoon. Recoat the baking sheet with cooking spray and return the rolls to the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining rolls. Brush the rolls lightly with the beaten egg, then sprinkle with coarse salt.
Transfer to the oven and bake until the rolls are deep golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through. Transfer to a rack and let cool 10 minutes on the pan, then remove the rolls to the rack to cool completely.